Lance Elementary Adds On-Site Wellness Clinic
Posted On:
Monday, August 21, 2017
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    LANETT  — W.O.  Lance  Elementary  School  is  
starting  the  2017-18 school year this week with
something new: an on-site wellness clinic staffed
by  three  nurses,  a  speech  therapist and a mental
 health therapist. It’s a first for the Lanett City
School System and is a model for other school systems.
    “We expect people to visit us and see what we’re
doing,” said Superintendent Phillip Johnson. “We’re try-
ing to offer wrap around learning. We think  it  will
help  children  in  the classroom to know there’s a
close by place  to  go  to  when  they  don’t  feel
good, a place that’s staffed by people they see every
day.”
    A central feature of the wellness clinic is a sick-
ness room. There are comfortable places for children
to lie down when they don’t feel good. By being here
when they have something catching, they’re not ex-
posing other children to a contagious illness.
Lead Nurse Belinda Reed, R.N., says that an obvi-
ous advantage of the on-site clinic is that children
don’t have to be transported from the school building
should they fall ill. They can get immediate attention
from nurses and specialists right there at school
    “Wellness in schools creates a healthier environ-
ment  for  children  to  grow  and  learn,”  Reed  says.
“School health clinics can provide immediate care for
illnesses and for students who may have sustained
some kind of injury. On-staff nurses and specialists
can see that students get appropriate referrals to pri-
mary health providers should that be necessary.”
    Services provided to the students include vision
screening along with screenings for dental needs and
testing  for  scoliosis.  Some  vaccines  are  offered  as
well.
    Students can be treated for acute or chronic ill-
nesses such as influenza, asthma or diabetes. They
can also assist students who may be recovering from
surgeries. A mental health therapist can work with
students who have attention deficit hyperactivity dis-
order, commonly known as ADHD, and similar issues
some school-age children cope with.
    The staff can teach them the long-term benefits of
learning, and practicing, healthy habits.
    Nationwide, school-based health clinics provide a
combination of primary care, mental health care, den-
tal health, nutrition education, health education and
health promotion. An emphasis is based on preven-
tion and early intervention. School-based health clin-
ics generally operate as a partnership between the
school district and a community health organization,
such as a community health center, hospital or local
health department.

 

CREDIT: WAYNE CLARK (VALLEY-TIMES EDITOR)